It’s not unusual to start a part-time pediatric job right out of residency.
Part-time employment may afford you many advantages. Pediatricians who reported part-time hours were more likely than those working full-time hours to feel very successful in balancing their job and other areas of their life. Beyond that, they were less likely to feel rushed with their time. These findings, among other statistics, are from a national, longitudinal study, AAP Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study (PLACES).
What is part-time?
As should be expected, residents who accepted part-time positions anticipated working fewer hours than did residents who accepted full-time positions. AAP researchers have found that the average weekly part-time hours in direct patient care was reported to be 25.
Negotiating a fair pay rate for your part-time position can be challenging. Hospitals and practices typically use these models when formulating part-time physician pay: percentage of full-time physician's salary based on hours worked, percentage of fees collected for patient services, per diem or revenue-based rate (minus overhead expenses). According to AAP research, starting salaries for part-time positions were about 30% less than the starting salaries for full-time positions.
Part-time employed physician benefits are variable. You may or may not receive health, dental, vision, retirement, pension, disability coverage or life insurance. It varies from employer to employer. Typically, part-time physician employees working a minimum of 30 hours per week on a regular basis may receive some of those benefits.
Call coverage can also vary. It’s a very important issue that needs to be defined during negotiations and stipulated in the employment contract.
These are also known as non-compete and non-solicitation clauses in your employment agreement. They prohibit a part-time physician from working with other competing outlets in the area. What is an acceptable area in a restrictive covenant depends on state law and other factors. It would be very prudent to have an attorney advocate for you on this clause.
Employee versus independent contractor
If you’re an employed part-time physician, your employer is responsible for withholding income for Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as unemployment taxes. If you opt to work as a part-time independent contractor, you will be responsible for making those tax payments to the IRS and state tax authorities. Other implications of being an independent contractor are very complicated and warrant seeking legal advice.
American Academy of Pediatrics